The who and how behind student government funding

How student government funding works. Illustration by Grace Everett

By Clara Snyder | Staff Writer

Baylor’s student government is committed to representing the student body and enriching the quality of student life, but what exactly does that mean when put to action?

The Woodlands sophomore and student senator Nick Madincea said most of the projects across campus attached to the student government logo were directly funded by Baylor’s student government. From Patty Murphy week with SAE to the TKE car bash, Madincea said student government funds several of the large annual Greek events seen on campus.

“[We fund] basically any event you can think of, [like] All-University Thanksgiving, being able to help all different walks of life across campus and help them enrich the quality of student life here,” Madincea said. “The diversity of events [we fund] is what I love about being on finance committee.”

Hoffman Estates, Ill., senior and student body external vice president Zach Tufenkjian said the Senate primary allocates funding to campus improvements and campus events put on by chartered student organizations. Madincea said student government funding comes directly from the Baylor general fund.

“[The funding] is about $215,000 every year that we’re allowed to give out on behalf of student government to the students of their university and the causes that they really care about,” Madincea said.

Madincea said the two ways student government gives out money is through Senate allocation and improvement funds. Senate allocation funds are used for events, and Senate improvement funds are used for capital expenditures across campus.

“[To qualify for Senate allocation funds], it has to be an event that is open to all Baylor students … and has to have a projected attendance of at least 50 non-member Baylor students,” Madincea said.

Madincea said one trend student government has seen since COVID-19 is that organizations have lost their momentum for events. Madincea said student government is thankful to see organizations across campus getting back to doing what they love.

“We’ve seen a lot of return to the market and a lot of demand returning for student government allocations,” Madincea said. “One trend that we have seen is that [organizations are] typically asking for smaller allocations for the most part, just because they are kind of ramping things up again and trying to get back to where they were pre-pandemic.”

Tufenkjian said funding for organizations during the fall of 2020 was largely stagnant due to most campus events being held virtually, resulting in less funding allocation.

“In place of this, our organization worked to allocate funding to more campus improvements so that the Senate made use of the funding at its disposal for good,” Tufenkjian said.

According to Madincea, the goal of funding campus events is primarily to enrich the quality of student life and community at Baylor. Tufenkjian said student government hopes to expand the amount of funds the Student Government Allocation Fund distributes so it can reach more areas of campus.

“We’re just hoping to make Baylor the best place it can be by directly funding capital projects and events,” Madincea said. “Anything that needs an investment across campus that students see, we would love to help.”

Madincea said student government expects to see an increase in funding for the next year, bringing its annual funds to around $350,000. Madincea said they hope to use this funding to do more for Baylor’s campus, whether that be by adding another placard to the National Pan-Hellenic Council or renewing the lights on Pat Neff Hall.